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Police warn of jury duty scam

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The Wood County Sheriff’s Department is warning of a scam that’s making the rounds locally and could be spreading through the state.

Police have received multiple complaints from residents reporting the scam, a phone call by someone pretending to be from the Wood County Sheriff’s Department. The caller typically tells intended victims that they had missed jury duty or had outstanding warrants ,and that failure to pay them over the phone immediately would result in their arrest.

The caller ID showed that the phone number belonged to the Wood County Sheriff’s Department.

Other variations of this scam use well-known local law firms or actual debt recovery agencies. The caller ID spoof is done by using software or an application that enables the caller to change what the outgoing number looks like on caller ID.

No member of a law enforcement or government agency will ever contact you and demand you provide them money over the telephone, said Wood County Sheriff Thomas Reichert.

Usually, fraudsters will demand payment through money orders or gift cards that are nearly impossible to track, Reichert said.

“The callers will often resort to threats of fines, arrest or even physical harm in order to attempt to coerce and intimidate you into paying them,”

If you receive a call like this, police advise you to hang up and contact your local law enforcement agency to report it. Seniors are particularly vulnerable to these types of scams.

Additional information regarding scams and scam prevention are available at the Federal Trade Commission Website at https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/.

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